En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 23, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on mowing schedules
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

What would be the ideal mowing schedule to allow for a spring and summer bloom of wildflowers? My neighborhood maintains it's own roadsides and has the opportunity to increase the number of wildflowers and control any mowing that would be done in these areas.

ANSWER:

As you have stated, when, where and how you mow will greatly affect the vegetation you have on your site. Depending on your growing season, maintenance mowing at around 6 to 8 inches in early Spring (say, mid to late February, again depending on your ecoregion), can be performed & not have a lasting detrimental impact on the species that are overwintering & actively growing toward bloom. Regarding Fall, we recommend mowing pastures and predominant grass occupied areas that may contain wildflowers after they have gone to seed to allow the plants to spread and return the following year. On average we advise folks to mow at a height of 6 to 8 inches, however, the mowing height is greatly dependent on the existing plant community and desired outcome.

The Wildflower Center offers consulting services to help landowners manage property. We specialize in savannas and wildflower meadows. If you are interested in our consulting services go to our Consulting webpage, or contact Steve Windhager, Director of Landscape Restoration, at 512-292-4200. If you live in the area, you can set up an appointment for "free" advice if you come to the Center and bring the necessary, photos, maps, plans etc.. to help us understand your project. Billing begins when our staff visit your property.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Seeds for Fall bloom in Austin
May 31, 2010 - What seeds should I be planting now for fall blooms here in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet party for April 17 in Brenham TX
March 15, 2010 - I wish to have a Bluebonnet party. I planted seeds in the spring and fall and the plants have come up like crazy. Given our unusual weather, when can you predict they will peak.?? I was planning t...
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Early spring wildflowers of Pennsylvania
September 30, 2011 - What native wildflower is the first to bloom in Weedville, Pa? (Jay township, Elk county) I am working on a research paper for my Environmental Problems class, and this would be very helpful. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Plants for the Shade of a Pine Tree in Pittsburg
June 03, 2013 - I live in Pittsburgh, PA. My neighbor has a huge pine tree. Last year everything I planted on that side near the tree died. That part of the yard only gets morning sun, as the tree overshadows it. Wha...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center